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Don't Stop Believin'

Don't Stop Believin'

Oil on board, 36x15, Oak floater frame



My dad graduated from Monsignor Bonner high school in 1960.


A few days later, he started his full-time job in the mailroom at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Radnor.


He also enlisted in the Army reserve and started night school at Saint Joseph’s University to earn his degree in Business Administration with a major in accounting.


I remember him telling me the story of how he would push the mail cart around to the many floors at work.


The guys in Accounts Payable stopped him one day and asked him if he played basketball (he was obviously tall and athletic looking), and they invited him to join their league.


He became friends with the Accounts Payable group and when an opening came up six months later, he was hired.


A few years later, my mom started working in the same department.


They were engaged and married 9 months later.


The decade of the 60’s was filled with work, night school, Army obligation, a wedding, and raising two little boys, and me coming in the early 70’s.


By the time I was born, he had finished his degree and his time in the Army.


He served active duty for 6 months and 5½ years in the Army Reserves in the 157th Infantry Brigade as a Staff Sargent.


He was a true patriot. 


He would sing “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dany” in the car loud and Proud!  He would get us to all sing along.


He would wear his army jacket on chilly nights and weekends when we would do yardwork. 


He would take us to the local Memorial Day parade in Wayne, and the Fourth of July Fireworks became tradition with the grandkids at The Colony Hotel in Kennebunk.


His dog tag was always on his key chain and I could hear that jingle from a mile away.


I think back now about the mental and physical strength it took to sustain a decade of little time off to raise a family, finish a college degree, earn a living while climbing the corporate ladder, and serve his country.


It was just the way it was.


“Don’t Stop Believing

Hold on to that feeling


He worked in the Pharmaceutical Industry his entire 43-year career.  When he retired from Aventis Pharmaceuticals, he was the Director of U.S. Financial Services.


It was the American story; from mailroom to Director.


He worked and climbed his whole career.


Quite the role model for me in so many aspects of my life.


I rejoined Cross Fit (shout out to Iron Cross in Phoenixville!!) a few months after he passed.


I was different and I found my old work outs to be outdated.


It was hard.


It pushed me to places I was afraid to go.


And many times, when I felt like giving up, I had the vision of my dad in his army uniform doing the push-ups with me saying “You got this”.


I’m going to keep showing up, for me.


And yes, that first unassisted pull up is coming, I can feel it!


“Don’t stop Belivin’

Hold on to that feelin’



Music reference: Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey

Photo credit: @karl.ramsdell

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